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2 Things That Separate Rockstar Resumes from Rejected Resumes

2 Things That Separate Rockstar Resumes from Rejected Resumes
Laura Hatch

So you’ve put out a compelling job ad, and you’re getting a flood of fantastic resumes. Now you have a wonderful problem: how to narrow down to a few rock star candidates. Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple way to sift out the high-quality candidates from the merely “good enough to interview.”


The best job candidates will show their stripes immediately through these 2 key behaviors, which predict their performance after hiring: They follow the job ad’s instructions to the letter


Your job ad provided details about submitting a resume properly. You may have specified additional information to include in a cover letter, or the name of the hiring manager to whom the resume should be submitted.

When reviewing submissions, don’t take a second look at anyone who didn’t explicitly follow your instructions. A great team member is able to take direction well, so be careful to weed out a closet diva who always wants to go his or her own way. Not following your submission requirements is a clue the person may be a problem down the line.

If you have a resume submitted wrongly and it was an honest mistake, be flexible, but treat it as a red flag. Be extra diligent to look for other red flags with the candidate.



They triple-check their work before hitting ‘send’.

On your second pass through the resume pile, look for typos and other errors. Does anything jump out at you? Did they spell the hiring manager’s name correctly? Are there any words in the cover letter that don’t make sense? (Usually a sign that the candidate was using spell check in a hurried way without taking the time to consider each change.)

Serious candidates will triple-check their work. They will use spellcheck, proofread on their own and ask someone else to check for typos. If you get a sloppy resume, chances are good you’ll get a sloppy employee. Work ethic is demonstrated in the details. Resumes that contain errors go straight into the trash–no mercy.

These may seem like common sense approaches—but you’d be shocked at how many dental office managers don’t follow this advice! Check for these two red flags to easily narrow down the pile of job prospects.


Be sure to tune in for the next installment of this series, when I share my most surprising piece of advice for weeding out resumes.

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